VENERABLE (Lat. venerabilis, worthy of reverence, vemrari, to reverence, to worship, allied to Venus, love; the Indo-Germ. root is wen-, to desire, whence Eng. " win," properly to struggle for, hence to gain), worthy of honour, respect and reverence, especially a term applied to dignified or honourable age. It is specifically used as a title of address given to archdeacons in the Anglican Church. It was naturally a term of respectful address from early times; thus St Augustine (Epist. 76, 88, 139) cites it of bishops, and Philip I. of France was styled venerabilis and venerandus (see Du Cange, Gloss, s.v. Venerabilitas). In the Roman Church the granting of the title " venerable " is the first step in the long process of the canonization of saints (see CANONIZATION) .
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)